Ok, here’s the deal. I want to share something funny but because most of you have probably never heard of any of the funny things in question I have to do some background explaining. Please hold your applause until the end.
There’s this show, Father Ted, which is about some Catholic priests in a rectory on a remote island in Ireland. They’re there for somewhat, um, rehabilitative reasons. Father Ted is a bit off, but the most normal of the bunch. Father Dougal is a total moron, but a very lovable one. Father Jack (who doesn’t figure much in this bit) has a brain that has been totally pickled by alcohol. Nice.
For some inexplicable reason Ted and Dougal decide to enter the fictional “Song for Europe” contest in which contestants write and perform a song to represent their respective countries. They are going to enter the Irish preliminaries and some fellow (and rival) priests will be entering as well.
They think that writing a song will be easy and straightforward and, of course, it isn’t.
Father Ted has a dream sequence in which he and Dougal star in their own music video. We always found this very funny, but felt like we weren’t getting all of the jokes.
As it turns out, the melody they use for “My Lovely Horse” in the video (and plan to use in the contest) is deliberately plagiarized; they think no one will notice. At the contest they find out that it is actually a popular melody and at the last minute have to revert to “plan B” which is a really wretched non-melody. To everyone’s surprise, they actually win the contest and will go on to represent Ireland. This is because the people hosting it are sick of Ireland always winning and now figure Ireland is a shoo-in to lose.
Ok, so this is funny and all, but why on earth am I explaining all of this? Well, we found out what jokes we had been missing. It turns out that the whole thing was a spoof on an entry in the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest (this is a real contest and has been held every year since 1956). The Swarbriggs (I swear, that’s their name) entered the song “That’s What Friends are For” as Irish contenders. Below, you’ll see two videos of the Swarbriggs singing this song, once in the Eurovision contest and one in an early music video. First, the contest:
To see the start of the song see 00:51.
(Note the blue jackets with sequins.)
Next, the music video:
To see the “music video” portion of the video below start at 00:49.
(Note especially the “tossing the ball in the pool” bit.)
Well, If you’ve stayed with me this long then you deserve a medal.
Oh, and you can release your applause now.